Title: Triggers and Ties, Part 1: Halo
Author: Kuria Dalmatia
Rating: FRAO/NC-17, sexual and adult situations, profanity
Pairing: Hotch/Reid

Summary: It wasn't fair to Reid to be compared to Haley - something Aaron told himself every time they were together - but he found himself unable to stop.

ARCHIVING: my LJ... anyone else? Please ask first.
SERIES: Criminal Minds

Feedback always welcome.

DISCLAIMER: The Mark Gordon Company, ABC Studios and CBS Paramount Network Television own Criminal Minds. Salut! I just took them out to play and I promise put them back when I'm done. I'm not making any profit just trying to get these images out of my head.

VERSION: December 2008/January 2009

TIMELINES: Criminal Minds Season 3 post-"Damaged" with references to "The Crossing", 4th Season's "The Angel Maker" and "Minimal Loss"

COMMENTS: I'm not a Haley-hater, but I wanted to explore Hotch's sexuality and identity as his relationship with Reid progresses. Hotch and Haley were high school sweethearts, so I did take some liberties with the background and just how much experience Hotch has as well as how much Reid has.

"Mankind are governed more by their feelings than by reason."
-Samuel Adams

Those in Aaron Hotchner's neighborhood were well aware of his divorce and that he now lived alone. They knew that the younger man who sometimes came home with him was Dr. Reid, a coworker. They also knew that Reid usually stayed overnight because they worked through cases until odd hours when riding the subway home wasn't necessarily an option. Yes, they were nosey, but Aaron had decided forfeiting a few details was much better than them actively snooping or trolling Reid for information when the younger man left the house.

Aaron wondered if they knew that "working through cases" meant Reid closing the door with his foot before pushing Aaron against the wall for a deep kiss. From there, they would either continue kissing, mutually masturbate, sixty-nine... basically everything but actual penetration, depending on how needy or exhausted Aaron and Reid were.

Tonight was one of those "needy" nights.

Reid had him against the wall, hands sliding along his chest and lips against his.

Urgent. Powerful. Grounding.

It had never been like that with Haley. Their "hello" kiss had been one of duty and acknowledgement. Aaron wasn't sure when they had developed a pattern on how they touched each other, but he knew it had its roots in high school. It had been always very set, very safe. She had kissed him demurely. He had kissed her in kind. Physical intimacy had been restricted to the bedroom even before Jack had been born.

Aaron remembered her reasoning: Haley had wanted to be his oasis from the violence he saw with his job. At least, that was the reasoning she'd given him seven years ago, but even before that, they had always had a very strict, very safe sex life. Still, he had wanted to worship her, to remind himself how lucky he was to have such a beautiful wife.

"Hotch?" Reid asked, concern clear in his voice. Even now, they stuck to last names.

Aaron glanced down to see his tie undone as well as his shirt, which hung open to reveal his white undershirt. He closed his eyes briefly, trying to break his chain of thoughts. It wasn't fair to Reid to compare - something he told himself every time they were together - but he found himself unable to stop.

He didn't want to answer; instead, he pulled Reid closer (gently, of course) and began kissing him.


"I'm not going to break," Reid said against his lips. He said the same thing every time, with that matter-of-fact tone to remind him that he wasn't Haley. As if the sparse five o'clock shadow against Aaron's cheek and hard-on pressed into Aaron's thigh could ever be Haley. Hell, Haley had never pounced him, much less strip him in the hallway, even when blood had stained his suit jacket and shirt.

"I know," Aaron replied. And before Reid could ask the question all good lovers asked when their partners were less than enthusiastic, he said fiercely, "I want this. I need this."

"If you can't get rid of the skeleton in your closet, you'd best teach it to dance."
- George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

Aaron and Reid had been on separate cases - Reid with the stalker and Aaron dealing with the battered woman - but they still ended up at Aaron's house afterwards.

When Reid was there, they spent most of their time in the formal living room and, if the other man spent the night, Reid ended up in the guest room on a double bed where his feet hung off the bottom. They didn't sleep together; the one time Aaron had actually shared the bed, he had fallen out when he had rolled over.

They never went to Aaron's bedroom despite everything being brand new; Aaron wasn't sure if it was him or Reid who decided on the unspoken rule. When Haley had left, the only furniture she'd taken had been their bedroom set ("It's not like you ever used it or slept in the bed"), Jack's bedroom set ("He need something familiar"), the kitchen table from the breakfast nook ("It's not like you ever ate at home"), and one of the couches from the family room ("When was the last time you watched TV?").

She'd taken a smattering of other things besides hers and Jack's clothing - the television, DVD player, all of Jack's toys, her family photos and all of Jack's baby pictures and videos, the formal china from her parents, the Waterford crystal and her grandmother's heirloom silver - but didn't empty out the home as he had expected her to. Hell, he still had a full set of everyday dishes, pots, pans, casseroles, and flatware.

Haley had been deliberate. She always knew how to send unspoken messages.

Cold hands suddenly gripped his sides. Aaron yelped in surprise at the chilly fingers as Reid maneuvered him into the living room. He allowed Reid to push him into the white high-backed chair with oversized armrests. It wasn't the most comfortable seat - and what had he been thinking when he agreed to Haley's concept of all-white furniture and carpeting? - but it seemed to be Reid's favorite place to start.

Reid pushed the Ottoman to the side and settled between Aaron's legs, deftly working Aaron's belt buckle, button and zipper. One shoe off. One trouser leg off. Underwear slid down and one leg freed. Trousers and boxers were then bunched around the one black leather dress shoe Reid hadn't taken off him.

Quirky, just like Reid. Unconventional, because if you were going to have sex, why not be completely naked? But Reid didn't seem to care. Aaron forced himself not to either. At least, he tried to.

The only time Aaron had been naked around Haley had been while taking a shower and dressing afterwards, or when they had sex. She had always worn a short nightgown - pink, silky, and utterly (demurely) feminine - and had always had her panties folded up under her pillow to be slipped on when they finished. He had always taken the lead, from reverently caressing her skin to gently rubbing her to an orgasm to pushing his penis inside her and keeping his thrusts... well... polite, if there was such a thing.

Not too hard, not too fast. As he had performed, Haley had told him how handsome he was, how much she loved him in a sing-song voice that at one time, Aaron had found appealing. No dirty talk. No demands. No nails raking across his back. No other sexual position except for missionary style.

Haley didn't want to be like those women that Aaron had to deal with daily, the ones who had been tortured, sexually abused, murdered... She had demanded to be his oasis and he had believed it to be acceptable. Normal.

A long, lingering lick on his cock caused Aaron to groan, snapping his attention to the present. Reid began sucking and working his hand up and down. Aaron gripped the armrests of the chair, wanting so badly to thread his hands in Reid's hair, which brushed his lap and made his skin all the more sensitive. He held back, because it wouldn't be good to force Reid...

Fingers encircled Aaron's wrist and pulled his hand down until it rested on Reid's hair. Aaron made another sound as a surge shot through his body, making his back arch and curling his toes.

Reid was incredibly talented. For all the teasing at the BAU about Reid's lack of experience, his skills as a lover had thoroughly surprised Aaron. He'd expected them both to be fumbling around and Reid to have book nearby for guidance. Instead, Reid easily went from kissing to groping to cocksucking, yet never once made Aaron feel (too) inadequate.

"I'll let you know when something bothers me," he had told Aaron that second night. "I know you'll do the same."

Reid caressed Aaron's balls and inner thighs, eliciting an embarrassing gasp of "Oh God yes," from Aaron as he tightened his grip because, well, it was new territory for him. He swore he felt Reid smiling against his skin.

Haley had only performed fellatio twice - her hair drawn back into a low ponytail - and rarely touched him so intimately. He had once wondered if she had had been sexually abused because, honestly, all the signs were there. It had taken him six months to finally convince himself that she hadn't been, that she had been naturally conservative in her views of sex and what was proper.

Aaron never lasted long when Reid used his mouth. He could feel the orgasm building in the base of his spine. "Close... so close."

Reid stopped.

The sound Aaron made was an odd cross between a growl and a whimper, but he knew Reid had something else in mind. They usually brought each other close to orgasm then stopped. To finish, they would mutually jack off, suck each other, or rub against each other until they came. Aaron didn't particularly care how they did it, because it was always good.

Better than it ever had been with Haley.

Reid grabbed his tie and pulled him forward into an intense kiss. Aaron slid to his knees from the chair, scooting along the carpet with Reid to get distance from the chair. To his surprise, Reid's trousers were already undone, his hard cock jutting in the air. As he kissed, Aaron wrapped his hand around Reid and began working him, although the angle was awkward and he'd forgotten one of the things that made sex with another man much, much easier: lubrication.

"Mhmm, waitasecond," Reid breathed into his mouth. Aaron heard the jangling of a belt and the click of a cap, and then felt a cool, viscous liquid splash on his hand. Of course, Reid would think of everything.

But before Aaron could feel embarrassed about not keeping lube in his pocket when he knew damn well that he would need it this evening, Reid stroked his cock and promptly derailed Aaron's train of thought. Reid bent backwards with ease and it only took a few moments of positioning until Aaron was on top of Reid, who had worked his own trousers down below his knees, and their cocks slid against each other.

Aaron straddled him, pants still tangled around one leg, toes flexed against the carpet to keep his position although his knees slid occasionally. He wanted to question because this was different than what they had done before and then wondered when he became so obsessed about a sexual routine.

The joy with Reid was that it was always unexpected, always new.

Aaron felt alive when he was with Reid.

"C'mon," Reid murmured breathlessly as his fingers dug into Aaron's ass, urging him.

It was never like this with Haley. Never spontaneous. Never unplanned. Never on the floor of the living room where anyone at the window could see the two of them going at it.

Aaron's movements were not slow and polite; he kept his eyes closed, concentrating. He didn't stare at his lover's face to see if everything was ok. After all, Reid had been quite clear that he'd let him know if something was wrong. Sex was never perfect; there were always adjustments to get the right angle and movements when flesh got twisted unexpectedly or in the way.

But it was good. Always good.

"Yes," Reid groaned as their cocks rubbed and his hands helped Aaron keep the pace. They were both close; Aaron could tell by the change in Reid's breathing patterns.

He had the sudden desire to watch Reid orgasm, to watch as the pleasure contorted his face and erased the seriousness. He wondered if he looked the same when he came. He hoped so.

He opened his eyes.

And stared...

... at the hair perfectly fanned out against the stark white of the carpet.

Like a halo.

Like the way Haley had always brushed her hair out on the pillows every time before they had made love.

Every ounce of passion drained from Aaron's body. He momentarily froze. His cock went soft. He couldn't close his eyes, couldn't shut out the concerned yet panicked look spreading across Reid's face. Reid let him go.

Aaron choked out a few nonsensical sounds, unable to give an explanation although Reid certainly deserved one. Humiliation hit next and he scrambled to his feet, tripping over his pants before pulling them up awkwardly and racing upstairs.

He wondered when he'd become so weak. So damaged. So uncertain. So unlike the Aaron Hotchner, Supervisory Special Agent and Unit Chief.

Aaron wondered why the hell Reid put up with him.

/***/ End Part 1/***/